We have all heard the saying you are what you eat. I quite like the simplicity of this term. It is true to an extent, when a whole-food diet is favoured over one that is highly processed and devoid of plant foods. However this Christmas I urge you to think not only about what you are eating, but how.
Too often focus is directed towards what we are putting in our mouths. Our internal voices are asking is this gluten free, does it contain sugar, is it organic? While these considerations are significant, so too is the way in which we are consuming said food.
Ask yourself the following questions.
Are you slurping a soft drink in the car? Throwing down that last sushi roll before you’re late to that afternoon meeting? Perhaps you might be jamming toast down your throat as you walk to the bus in the morning (after ensuring the kids all ate their breakfast!). My point is, if you are not dedicating time to sit down and take notice of the meal, your brain won’t either.
Our amazing epicentre above is constantly creating signals and hunger cues in the form of hormones. These work as cues to let us know when we are hungry or full, and most importantly, satisfied. If you are eating on the run, or not even sitting down chances are the food won’t register as being eaten and you may find yourself hungry not long after eating. I can also guess that the food is likely to be chewed less when eating on the move, another indicator that you won’t be satisfied and maybe craving food very soon.
Take time to dedicate to your meals. Even if you only have 5 minutes, you would be far better to sit for just 5 minutes and think of nothing else than enjoying your food.
Savour every mouthful.
Relish the textures and flavours.
After the 5 minutes you might return to emails or whatever else may be pressing. Albeit short, your brain will have recognised the eating interval and will work with your hunger hormones to signal that food has been consumed. By making a concerted effort to do this, your brain can be used as an effective weight loss tool simply by some slight retraining. Bonus, by sitting briefly your stress (cortisol) levels might settle slightly too which will also be beneficial for weight management.
So this Christmas take your time, sit with friends and really think about what you are putting in your mouth. Take the time to enjoy every morsel and slow down.
Thank you to all of my readers, I wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas spent with loved ones.
I look forward to joining you again in 2016!
Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).
This post was written by Madeleine and first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog https://flipsidenutrition.com.au/2015/12/23/you-are-how-you-eat/